Third generation embraces chicken farming
Adam Hazeldene and Michelle Daniel, Hazeldene's, Lockwood
Adam is the Technical Services Manager and his cousin, Michelle, provides expert consultation to Hazeldene's on marketing and communication strategies. They both grew up in the family business and worked on the factory floor during their school holidays. They see a strong future for the business as they take on more demanding and rewarding management roles.
When Dick and Mavis Hazeldene started their chicken farming business in 1957 in Lockwood, Bendigo with 300 layers, they didn't anticipate that 55 years later their children and grandchildren would be working with more than 600 staff to process 23.4 million chickens each year at Hazeldene's.
The day-to-day operation is now in the hands of Dick and Mavis' two adult children including John Hazeldene who is Managing Director and Vicki Gaudion who is Corporate Affairs Manager while their son, Peter Hazeldene, is a Director of the Board. Between them they have a combined 80 years experience in the poultry industry.
Adam Hazeldene and Michelle Daniel are the third generation of family to join the business and their vision for the future is both grand and optimistic. The same mission drives them as their predecessors – to produce the very best chicken on any table anywhere in the world. Adam and Michelle grew up in the business from humble beginnings working on the factory floor packing chickens and making boxes.
As the Technical Services Manager, Adam Hazeldene, attends to all of the electrical engineering on site while also coordinating the ICT department and heading up the development of the new processing plant.
'In regional Victoria I find you're a lot more free. I lived in Melbourne for five years and I hated the commuting every day. I just love the freedom up here, we're an hour from the river if we want to go water skiing, it's only two hours from the beach, and we're an hour from Melbourne should we have to go there. It's just a good lifestyle,' said Adam Hazeldene.
'Our business is dynamic and things are changing every day. Since completing a degree in Electrical Engineering, I'm more adept at the systems and controls involved in the daily operations. I'm pretty passionate about our business and I'd really like to see it grow and prosper as much as possible. We're in the implentation phase of our primary processing plant at the moment and there are staggered stages to follow that need to be project managed. I think the future is bright for our company.'
Michelle Daniel works in marketing and communications and has returned to consult to the business after 10 years of working in marketing in education and the property sector. She is currently working on a historic retrospective of the company.
Michelle lives in Melbourne and commutes back and forth to Lockwood, which can be challenging. She likes being in the country but is also drawn to the city and is confident it's possible to have the best of both worlds. She encourages any young budding farmer to secure some qualifications and to study before delving into farming.
'To thrive in farming it's crucial to find an area that you are passionate about working in and be prepared to work hard. There's a lot of opportunity out there if you are committed, and my experience is that it's much more relaxed and down to earth working in a regional business,' said Michelle Daniel.
'The company is going through a growth phase at the moment with the expansion of the factory facility and also with a lot of farming expansion as well. To bring it all together and make it work is a mammoth task so it's exciting times ahead.'
The opportunities are ripe at Hazeldene's as the business continues to grow and its leaders seek new innovators and shining stars to help create the next chapter.
About Hazeldene's chickens
Hazeldene's Chickens is a thriving and reputable family business that prides itself on delivering fresh chicken from the farm gate since 1957.
- To be recognised as a successful family business striving for excellence with integrity.
Point of difference:
- Operates from Lockwood, Bendigo in Central Victoria, 90 minutes from Melbourne
- Home of one of Australia's cutting edge primary produce companies
- Wholly owned by family and run by the family
- Provides 100 per cent Australian poultry
- Australia's only fully vertically integrated regional poultry processors
- Approved producer under the RSPCA Approved Farming Scheme
- Benchmark quality to ensure international accreditation
- Focused on sustainability and waste minimisation
- Bio security is very important and helps maintain the clean green reputation of the company
- Hazeldene's quality chicken is raised on 'complete' feeds, designed with a balance of protein, energy, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients for proper growth.
Scale of production:
- Three main locations, with extensive free range broiler farms
- Talented and passionate staff of 600 plus people
- The chicken farm in Lockwood processes more than 450,000 chickens each week
- Export to emerging market in Hong Kong
- Company owned fleet of refrigerated vehicles across three states in south eastern Australia – Victoria, South West New South Wales and South Australia
- 85 per cent of broiler chickens are farmed within 25 kilometres of the Lockwood processing plant
- Extensive product offering.
- Hazeldene's recently commissioned a $20 million primary processing plant at Lockwood that is one of the best in the world. It is designed with a capacity to process up to 900,000 chickens per week.
- The company is often seeking skilled trades people
- Committed to ongoing technology advances, particularly in chicken nutrition and optimum efficiencies.
For further information please visit the Hazeldenes website.